tv [untitled] August 15, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
contributing to our quality of life. 2011 marks the anniversary of the restoration and of the opening of the award winning urban environmental center on the site. led by the parks conserveancy, the restoration and the creation of the center were accomplished with $36 million in generous support from the community and thousands of volunteers. christy field is enjoyed by over a million visitors each year. america's cup has the prestige and appeal to draw hundreds of thousands more to this shoreline national park. record crowds, over 50 days or more two two peak visitor seasons have the potential to displace current park users, overwhelm daily operating systems and stress or damage valuable park resources.
park use at this scale could jeopardize the center's ability to serve the young people who rely heavily on the park for their programs. we understand the importance to the america's cup. we understand that the deir does not define how the parks will be mitigated and what resources will be made available for that service. we ask to help assure public safety and access. protect christy field as a vital resource. preserve the vitality of the education and volunteer program. identify financial resources for event preparation and management crowd and traffic control. san francisco bay and the surrounding parklands will make the america's cup memorable and historic. we simply call for measures to protect the national park that our community worked so hard to create and care for.
we can assure positive legacy while protecting the bay area's beloved national parks. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> hello. i am a san francisco resident. i just want to thank you very much for this opportunity for comment. i am a big ocean conservation advocate. there are insufficient protection for the marine wildlife and maximum mals in and around the bay and this includes the two-legged mammals. i think there is a lack of
specificity as to how the protections will be addressed. i want to give you a few suggestions and some things that you might want to consider. slowing the vessel traffic down in order to avoid collisions with marine wildlife. that does not mean the racing vessels, just to be clear. prohibiting noisy personal water craft on the race course as they are already banned in most of san francisco. and then rigorously enforcing laws to prevent plastic and trash from going overboard. they can result in entanglement with wildlife. those are the things i would like you to consider. thank you again for the opportunity to come in. >> hello.
i am a life member of the dolphin club. i have been swimming in the bay since the late 1960's. i will try not to repeat all of the things the previous dolphin club people have been telling you. i guess my suggestion and my hope as a result of this hearing our concerns are seriously addressed in writing so that the problems that we foresee don't occur. it seems like an opportunity for the people putting on this event to actually recruit the dolphin club. stewards of aquatic park. and instead of completely ignoring us and therefore probably limiting our use of the cove and alienating us, they could actually benefit from us being ambassadors to san francisco.
in addition to that, the images that will be broadcast all over the world about san francisco, i think they would be enhanced by seeing the kinds of things that go on at the club every day, rowing and boating, not something that happens every place. so it is a unique cultural asset that the people that are putting this event on should exploit and not try to squash. thank you for listening. >> thank you. >> good afternoon commissioners. my name is mike savage. i am a stroo teenagic planning and the lead for the national park soferse america's cup. i am speaking to you today on behalf of the two national park units that have been
identified, golden gate and san francisco national historic -- san francisco national maritime historic park. more than simply spectator venues they provide over 16 million visitors annually from near and far an opportunity to enjoy the natural scenic, cultural resources of the bay area. from frequent daily visitors, residents from san francisco running or biking or the aquatic park to the out of town visitor who takes their first trip to alcatraz island. our mission can be simply stated. it is important because that is the lens through which we see it. preserve park resources and values. we want to recognize first that the city staff worked hard on getting this document out in a short time frame, given the
construction schedules necessary. we have worked in providing extensive scoping comments and have worked with them with the rest of the staff to look at mutual solutions, and at the present time in the document some of those solutions have not been addressed and some of the commitments and mitt gailingses are not there. they are deferred to the people and park plans. we recognize that they may have been developed post when that plan went to draft. but without that level of detail and a lack of commitments on some of those mitigations it is difficult to judge the adequates' of the document and the future unstated actions. we are committed to working with the city and city staff on reaching the solutions and making sure they are identified within the document so items that may have been ignored or
identified as less than significant without mitigation are detailed in terms of what those mutual solutions are. to mitigate impacts on our resource and visitors we will need those decision documents. they will include but not be limited to impacts and mitigations of helicopter noise, sensitive resources and the enjoyment of visitors to parklands, impacts of forecasted crowds over 100,000 in a day and the impacts on visitor safety, access and enjoyment for all. as well as the potential damage to fragile do you know vegetation and other resources. to address these ourselves we would require setting up -- >> thank you, sir. you can submit your comments in writing also.
>> let me emphasize that we have concerns about the implementation. the people's plan would close northbound on roughly two dozen major race days cutting off access to the marketplace. it would be devastating to the merchants, the farmer's market and the tenants. vehicle access is critical to the success. our retailers have unique storage constraints and many of them require multiple deliveries a day in order to serve their customers. service access is also necessary for office tenants. ferry building merchants supply fresh produce. parking is critical for most of oufer tenants and patrons and highly used parking areas.
on an average day the building receives over 250 deliveries to shops and offices. access and parking are essential to the farmer's market. on saturdays alone 120 farmers' trucks are parked from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. without continuous access the marketplace would not operate much less thrive. these impacts were not addressed in all of the drafts or in the d.i.r. we would have to provide more specific comments but the plan is too vague. the d.i.r. does not address the traffic. as a result the impacts were underestimated or omitted entirely. the d.i.r. defers identification of specific mitigation measures until the final plan.
the d.i.r. must inform the public of the road closures so the impacts can be quickly assessed. assumptions are not sufficient. the d.i.r. must evaluate the impacts of cutting off access and parking around the ferry building. the d.i.r. must evaluate alternatives. for these reason its does not comply with the requirements. it must be revised to recognize these adverse effects and provide solutions. we will be expanding on these remarks in written comments. thank you. >> thank you. >> commissioners, nice to see you all again. we have to stop meeting like this. i am also a member of the environmental council.
i am inspired by the hard work that the council has put in on the environmental impact report, working with the city and trying to improve the process and the document. i support the comment of my colleagues. my job here today is to deliver another message. as charmed as i may be by my colleague's enthusiasm for working with the city i am not surprised by the confusion between the project environmental impact report and program environmental report. i am not surprised by the absence of their feedback. i am not surprised by the lack of specificity. i am not surprised about the potential for undisclosed benefits to the future developers.
i have stood here in the past two years on three environmental documents, including this one. two of those were litigated three times. one just settled. and despite the positive things that you will hear from people within the city about the decision being largely favorable to the city there is one element that has a specific and important ramification. and i think you all know we sued the city recently. whether it is us or another organization that comes here and brings litigation against a project like this it is not because we are litigous as people would like to believe. efforts to sincerely cooperate and provide appropriate criticism are ignored.
comments that include hundreds and thousands of hours of community and public work are not taken seriously. it is something to take very, very seriously, commissioners. thank you. >> thank you. >> my name is sam ferguson. i am a resident of san francisco. i lived and worked here for over 20 years. i am a social worker. i work primarily with low income seniors. i want to say without giving away any confidential information that we have an
82-year-old man who swims regularly at aquatic park. and as you probably know swimming is one of those activities that is really safe. and i want aquatic park to remain safe. my grandmother passed away at 82 years old. she wouldn't have been able to swim in the park, but i wish she could have. if she were here today and we could ask her what we can do about this, she would have said why can't we share. i think we can share. i think we can keep this resource for the important people in san francisco's community.
>> good afternoon. i am andrew mahone and he i have been a member of the dolphin club since last year. i commute four times per week. i have swum 90.5 miles in aquatic park and a colleague of mine swum around 140. there are sprint competitions, swimming competitions of any kind, kayaking and rowing going on in aquatic park. from that there are also countless numbers of people who make use of the beach at aquatic park daily, hanging out in the sun, swimming in the water. it is a great place just to hang out and have fun. i would also like to comment on the marine life that i have seen while swimming in aquatic park, harbor sales and jelly fish and that the environmental impact of the proposed
america's cup should be taken into account. >> is there any additional public comment? >> i forgot to fill one out. i am president of san francisco tomorrow. i am one of the members of the environmental council that submitted 30 pages of comment on the notice of preparation. when we talk about submitting hundreds of pages for the administrative draft we did it in edit format but i guess it was not easy enough. the actual distance of impact.
they are looking at impacts close to the shore line but they are not looking at the impacts farther back. san francisco bay as a natural ampitheater for america's cup they are covering the orchestra but not the balconies. things that happen on the shoreline is affecting the city. i live about as far away from the waterfront as you can get and four of the five bus lines serving my neighborhood serve the waterfront. if we do not take care of the transportation problem it is going to have a ripple effect. the other issue is, and it is a short timeline for this document. i understand that we are trying a new way of doing things. a lot of the mitigation is contained in other documents. difficulty is after months of wondering and questioning and ising we do not understand what the approval process is for those plans. who says the plan is done?
it seems clear that there is a mitigation for this document is going to be contained in the other plans that you are the one to have final approval on them. i think that you should clarify that and assure that takes place. thank you very much. >> thank you. public comment is closed. commissioner miguel. >> yes. particularly concerning the federal land i just want to make sure that everyone understands that in addition to this process there is a nepa process. there are three public venues for your comments into that. the first one is next wednesday the 17th, 6:30 at the bay model visitors center.
on thursday the 18th from 7:00 to 9:00 at the golden gate club and the third one tuesday the 23rd, 6:30 to 8:30 at the waterfront hotel. so you have san francisco north bay and east bay involved there. these are being convened by the ggnra, national parks service and the army corps of engineers. they are all involved in that and i am sure many of you who have spoken today or are here will have a busy week next week. at the present time i do not feel that the deir is adequate and complete. although not a member at any time of either the dolphin or
the south end club i had not presently but in my younger days been a frequent swimmer at aquatic park. the very concept that there are alternative locations such as ocean beach is ludicrous. you might, and there are a few who do in their wet suits do a little mile surfing out there. but that is not a swimming venue. i used to swim at china and baker, but those are not even at all adequate to compensate for the swimming that is available or the rowing for that matter at aquatic park. the comments that this is nine weeks in the summer season which is the height for boating
and swimming there has to be noted. i am not totally pleased with the transportation plan as noted there. they comment on the e-line. i question whether it will be even in existence by the time we get to the america's cup. i know some people think it is going to be. but the resistance and what it has to go through is in question. i think that there is serious consideration that has to be given to virtually the closing of the ferry building. let alone the farmer's market that my wife and i are at 7:30 on saturday mornings, you have all of the workers and all of the work that goes on there in there.
there is virtually no adequate transportation alternative by vehicle to closing the northbound lanes. and something, and i am not, and she will admit it, always in agreement with nancy shanahan but she brought up a good point. and i am go to quote from the deir, long-term development rights under the host agreement would result in development of piers 26, 28, 30, 32, 19, 19.5, 23, 29 and 30 and yet there is nothing that i could find in the deir that addresses this whatsoever. because they don't know what is going to happen. so you can't assess it.
yet it is mentioned in the deir. now either it is mentioned there because it has to be or there has to be something said in there as to what future process will be involved as to this development, if and when it occurs. and unless i skipped it, i could not find that information there. i may have additional written comments. >> thank you. i think that it is marvelous that a document of this size can be produced so quickly. i think this may be an instructional for the future and we might become a lot more business friendly if we can do this. like anything tells is important to get it right. that is what we are dealing with today. i heard your comments. so i want to tell you some of
the things i am hearing, the placement of the big screens is a concern, i guess. and that has to be, you know, the environmental effects of those has to be looked at very closely whether that location is correct. you know we have to deal with the impacts. we have to look at other possible sightings for those. the other thing that i heard a lot about is the interim power for vessels that are cruise ships and others in san francisco. we have provided shoreline power to them to keep them from running their engines. one of the thing we will benefit from is that we are go to increase the megawattage for cruise terminals up to 20 megawatts making it more environmentally sound in the future. what the commentary is on is
the interim situation and if there is a way to still provide some shoreline power to these vessels during the time of the america's cup. that may be something that at least should be mentioned in the document. and then one of the biggest issues is loss of use. particularly those used for aquatic uses such as canoeing, swimming, kayaking. there are other sites that might be possible sometime in the future. they are not available now. yesterday i took a tour in india basin warm water cove, china basin. i am not sure, they are certainly not ready at this time but we have to take advantage of some of the benefits from this entire thing to be able to, in the future, create other areas that can be used for some of these activities.
someone mentioned sharing it. if there is a way that would be great. i am not sure if that is compatible or not. transportation is a bit concern. if they could begin the e-line to bring people from the south all the way what is now the f-line academying more cars to the f-line and other public transportation is essential along the waterfront and perhaps accessry roots that might eliminate bringing people directly along the waterfront and coming in to areas less congested without adding to the congestion and certainly the f-line extension to marina green. i heard it is not feasible before next year, which is probably true, i think starting on that and getting that fast tracked makes a lot of sense. it hasn't been used in years. that would be a great advantage
and something perhaps if it is not done in time for the america's cup is a benefit that would be useful for years to come. everybody is concerned about access to the ferry building, fisherman's wharf and other activities. that has to be properly addressed. it is important that their businesses will go on and they are essential to san francisco. finally, listening to the testimony from members of the dolphin and south end rowing club are a testament to the benefits of regular exercise if you listen to some of the people who were there. i am really proud of the athletic clubs that we have in san francisco that a lot of people do not realize how many we have and how active the members are. i am not a swimmer but it is pretty impressive by someone who can swim from the golden gate bridge to the bay bridge. that is aways. and there are areas that are
inaccessible along the waterfront that are not as clean as they should be. it might be an advantage to clean up some of these areas and make more areas accessible so in addition to aquatic park we have other areas that will be usable. a question was raised as commissioner miguel talked about the scope of this eir and how it deals with future development that will occur on future piers and what sort of things we will have to have in the future. i don't know how much detail that goes into that, but that is a question that should be answered as to whether this project e.i.r. would include -- what it would include towards the other developments, which will happen i am sure but what sort of additional environmental analysis will have to happen.